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Heathside Recreation Area, in Horton Kirby, playground targeted by vandals

A children’s playground has been badly damaged after vandals “deliberately” set fire to it.

Fire crews were called to Heathside Recreation Area, off Horton Road, in Horton Kirby, near Dartford and used a fire bucket to extinguish the flames.

The swing was destroyed. Picture: Tracy Kay
The swing was destroyed. Picture: Tracy Kay

It is thought around eight young men started the suspicious blaze which caused damage to a cradle swing, toilets and allotments and cut down two trees.

In a statement on its website, Horton Kirby and South Darenth Parish Council said that repairs had only been completed to the park area when it was targeted.

It added: “It is believed the same group then went on to cause disturbance at an event that was being held in the Village Hall.

“Costs to repair the playground, and toilet and replace the trees will be gathered and presented to the council. A decision on whether it is financially viable to go ahead with the works will then have to be made.”

One resident who visited the park said it was “frustrating” the vandals had “deliberately” chosen to target a children’s play area.

Pictures show the swing completely burnt out and charred with ash and exposed wire lying below. It has now been taped off.

The tarmac beneath the equipment also looks to have been damaged by the flames.

The swing set has been taped off. Picture: Tracy Kay
The swing set has been taped off. Picture: Tracy Kay

Fire crews confirmed one fire engine was called to the scene at around 9.20pm on Friday, April 12.

No injuries were reported and the cause is believed to be deliberate.

It is understood CCTV images of the suspects have been passed on to police officers.

A spokesman for the force confirmed it was called to the park to a report of criminal damage just before 10pm and a small fire had damaged the swing.

Anyone with information should call the police on 01622 604100, quoting reference 46/59094/24.

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